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Happy New Year - 2007

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Correct me where I'm wrong, but this is what I expect to see in the course of 2007:

The CATS Blue line Light Rail will finally open. If CATS doesn't open by the end of this year, there will be serious repercussions, so they will almost certainly open this December. My guess is they'll end up delaying it to close to the end of December, and then most uptown office workers will be on vacation, creating some great photo ops for Rhino Times.

The retail and office portion of Epicenter will open this summer, bringing a lot of retailers and retail spaces around the main station of the Blue line, and within a couple blocks of both banks' headquarters campuses. That is 1/3 of a million square feet coming online, with visibility to street level, if not direct access.

At the border of uptown, the Target and Home Depot Expo will open this fall, bringing regional big box retail that will draw ~millions of shoppers per year. This has been planned since 2000.

The Vue will begin construction this quarter, and by the end of the year, should be of a decent height, due to the quicker tunnel- form construction method. (Does anyone know how tall Vue Orlando was after 1 year of groundbreaking?).

Trademark will open this summer, bringing ~200 units of residences, some office, and street retail online.

Avenue will open this fall, bringing ~400 units of residences and street retail online.

A final decision will be made this year on the baseball stadium, the Marshall Park redevelopment labeled "Brooklyn Village", and the final 3rd Ward Park location. It is now certain that the 2nd Ward and the new park location will be approved, as county Republicans have dropped opposition to those components of the land swap. When decided, all approved components will almost certainly begin construction this year, especially the park, which has all the funds and most of the design in order.

The Nascar Hall of Fame, convention center ballroom, and office tower will begin construction this year, after design is completed.

The Wachovia office tower, residential tower and the arts campus will see significant construction progress this year. The digging is near complete on the main block, so the foundation and the parking structure will be built throughout the year. I believe we'll start to see vertical progress on some components by the end of the year.

Novare will have completed demolition of the Duke Power building, and will have begun foundation work for their office tower, TWELVE, and their parking deck in 3rd Ward.

The Renwick and Quarterside in First Ward will have seen significant vertical progress this year.

The Concourse will have likely completed the deck over the arena loading dock, and the parking deck completed by the end of the year.

The Park will likely be topped out by the end of year.

The first phase building of the Citadin will likely be almost topped out by the end of the year.

The Garrison Lofts could be nearing completion by the end of the year.

The Ritz and the Bank of America office tower will likely be starting construction of the underground parking structure by the end of the year.

UNCC should be starting construction on their classroom building in First Ward by the end of the year.

Lazes will finally have its street connection from the NC Music Factory to Graham street by the Seaboard Street extension that is being built now.

230 S Tryon will be open this Winter, bringing 110 residences online and street retail including Ruth Chris steak house and J.Studio.

If sales go well, I'd expect to see interior renovations started on The Trust residences on S Tryon by the end of the year.

Although it sometimes appears to be a dead project, Camden should be closing on the Carolina Theater project this year and starting construction or at least sales for that project.

By the end of this year, I'd expect a decision to be made on the project to redevelop the parking lot of Spirit Square. The county will likely have complete control of the site early this year, and supposedly already has developers lined up for a new residential project that will include space for the arts groups. (For legislator: the historic McGloughan Theater/original First Baptist Church building is not part of that redevelopment plan :) ).

Roadwork should be complete on the Independence/277/Kenilworth/Stonewall interchange, and starting on the South/277/Caldwell/Brevard interchange and the conversion of Caldwell and Brevard to bidirectional streets. The street grid improvements in 2nd Ward and 3rd Ward will likely be underway by the end of the year if the landswap is approved.

By the end of the year, we are likely to see a decision and starting of the redevelopment of the Renaissance Place site.

On Elizabeth Avenue, we should see significant progress in building the Whole Foods and residential tower.

I would expect to see no change in the Beazer land in the southwest part of downtown, the Levine land in First Ward, or the Chetrit land in 2nd Ward by the end of the year. Those all appear to be land banking assets with next to no real momentum for change. I am also not so sure we'll see dirt turn on the Trinity redevelopment of the old state Polk building, but that is possible.

On the future transit projects, I'd expect to see more details on the plans to build the North line locally. We'll also likely have a better idea if the politics in Washington are bringing about a better or worse chance of funding the NE extension of the Blue line, or the unlikely speeding up of other projects. I would like to see more attempts to privately fund portions of the streetcar line, but I somewhat doubt those efforts would actually make any progress this year.

I would expect to see a couple of announcements this year, especially of 300 South Tryon, and a few other projects in 3rd Ward that are relying in part on the landswap deal to go through. Those projects, however, would not likely see any construction work this year, and be in the 2010-2011 timeframe for completion.

We'll see substantial progress on the Optimist Park and Belmont projects, with Alpha Mill opening this quarter, and the nearby Crosland and Tuscan projects starting construction soon topping off by the end of the year. We should also see the Seigel Point (Piedmont Courts redevelopment) topping off by the end of the year, too.

I think we'll start to see a major turnaround in Cherry, with Target open, and Cherry Hill under construction by year end. I would expect to see an announcement of another big box store or a major mixed use development on the Stonehunt land at Cherry Street and Independence (behind the Bank of America branch and the Autobell), a block away from the Target and the Midtown developement.

Am I overly optimistic or pessimistic on any of these? What are the timeframes for the SouthEnd projects that I omitted?

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Great summary. I have to disagree with the Beazer comment. I am by no means happy with the plans for this property but I do believe you will see dirt turning in the 1st of 2nd Quarter of 07. Other than that, great recap and hopefully everything stays as planned.

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Thanks. That make sense on Beazer, especially after they have just forced the issue on Coffee Cup.

I also just realized I omitted the progress of the 3rd Ward Warehouse District. Obviously, 1st Row is almost done. Does anyone know the status of the other projects in that district?

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Wonderful writeup D. Although I'm not as optimistic as you on the first phase of Citadin topping out by year end. They haven't even demo'd the existing structures yet, my guess is they will have just started construction on that phase come this time next year.

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Don't they have a building permit and final rezoning on order and due complete soon? They have presumably sold enough to get financing. I guessed that time frame as it is only a 10-12 story building. You might be right that they won't have topped off, but I don't agree they'll take another year to start. Time will tell.

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We should see the Royal Court from I277 going up.

South End projects - Lowes , C - Station and Hanover going up.

I wish all UPers Happy New Year and many good surprises this year. :yahoo:

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